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Children's writing

ChildrenWritingOne of the most important activities for CBN is to promote children’s own writing. It is difficult to break through the conventions they have been taught at school and to promote some innovative fresh thinking around the topics we bring to the workshops. But it can be done.

We are experimenting with group writing, and that has been hugely successful when writing about shared experiences such as Saturday morning or evening.

Another method is to present different first lines for each child to develop themselves. We allow one ‘swap’ if the first line is just not within their experience, but only one – and they are stuck with their second pick. This helps to get past the inevitable sharing of ideas in an informal setting (and copying from somebody with an idea!) and gives everybody a chance to write something different.

We are also developing projects on the iPads as a way of introducing writing ideas in a private one-on-one framework. This will also be extended to recording the stories and adding electronically generated artwork to them. In a practical sense, this also gets round the immense amount of work involved in collating and arranging the huge amounts of material generated in a workshop. This work can also then be published online.

Past Workshops

4 Jun 2012
The Red Hill workshop was the beginning of a process. We learned a lot. Hopefully, so did the children.


29 Jul 2016
We have many methods of encouraging children writing – something that almost all of them love to do. Those who finish early get on with some quiet reading. Some of these tools are:
24 Mar 2015
Rain makes Rivers – Rivers make Life
2 Mar 2015
Group writing by the children of Red Hill at a workshop on 28th February 2015-03-02
6 Oct 2014
I listen. There is less noise now. People have come home, up the hill with their heavy shopping bags. They walk slowly. The people with the heaviest bags walk slowest – and the old people. But there...
6 Oct 2014
My town is quiet. You can smell nature. Flowers come to my mind – lovely, but lots of pollen that makes me sneeze! The proteas are my favourites. We see them when we go up into the mountains.
3 Oct 2014
The following poem was written on a Saturday morning, in Clanwilliam, when the children just had to close their eyes to remember what it was like. My Saturday It is Saturday morning – early Saturday...
27 Sep 2014
The Saturday Stories children have discussed and approved a new – very extensive – project that has already begun but which will get under full steam in October, November and during 2015.
21 Jun 2014
Elzaine I love my grandmother because she tells me things in te history. I like to have a grandmother. She tells me stories from her history. My grandmother is the best person in the world.
21 Jun 2014
My grandmother is a very good grandmother – and she makes very good bakes. She works at the shop in the town. She is very nice!
21 Jun 2014
Aneline My grandmother loves to tell stories about her past. She tells us how they lived. Sometimes it went good and sometimes it went bad. One stormy night she told us how she slept through the...
21 Jun 2014
My grandmother is a very cool grandmother and she works very hard. Granny had four sisters and one of them is my mother. M mother is very nice too! My grandmother works at Sederbery Primere in the...
21 Jun 2014
In Saturday stories, we worked with books and stories about grandparents and discussed (in the winter sun) how important they are in our lives. The children then wrote and painted around the theme.
10 Jun 2014
The Saturday Stories group at Living Landscape in Clanwilliam, had a challenging time of it when they had to write about the music they love (Justin Bieber was mentioned) and what music means to them.
15 Apr 2014
In the music workshop, we asked the participants to draw the pattern of the very different kinds of music we played them – and also to think about the emotions that each piece made them think of. The...
9 Apr 2014
The Snow Goose – what I felt Children in Clanwilliam listened to music – both live, played by Anele Mhlahlo on his violin and recorded on an iPad. The story we used as a starting point was Paul...
26 Mar 2014
The children shared their stories about their family. They listened to family stories, drew pictures of their families, and wrote down some thoughts. Comronita Titus
25 Mar 2014
Some of the children attending the Swedish / Red Hill workshop tell us how the workshop went and how they enjoyed being part of the workshop.
7 Dec 2013
My name is Jonica. I live in Clanwilliam but I am from Sterkspruit in Eastern Cape. I am really shy, but when somebody laughs or gossips about me, I don’t care.
7 Dec 2013
Themba wrote: I just love playing soccer with my friends. I also love playing rugby and I love my dog.
24 Oct 2013
This is a compilation of ideas written by the twenty-five children who attended the first Cederberg Stories workshop during the spring holidays.